I’m about ready to throw in the towel on the Tao. When I first came here (Dao Bums) I said I was looking for a purer form of the Tao. Something free of Buddhist teachings about Karma, Dharma, reincarnations, Suffering and the eight fold path. I also asked if someone could tell me what a Tao Sage was and if there were any still around that I could meet. Now I walked into this conversation knowing full well that I would encounter people trying to be clever, and others being true believers of their interpretation of the Tao trying to convince me that their way was THE way. But what I did not expect to find was nothing. There doesn’t seem to be any serious cannon beside the 81 verses. I find parts of the verses helpful, but they kind of echo ideas that I have already come across. I suppose my experience would be much more meaningful had I found a mentor. Forget a Sage, just a knowledgeable person.
Recently I purchased a book call “Taoist Meditation” translated by Thomas Cleary and was disappointed at what I read.
Human life is the ultimate; when the ultimate goes into action it produces positive energy as fire. Fire is spirit. When the ultimate becomes quiescent it produces negative energy as water. Water is vitality. The fire of spirit and the water of vitality combine subtly and congeal between the two kidneys to constitute the root of original energy.
You would have to search far and wide to find a bigger load of horse-pucky than that.
That Gertrude Stein quote about Oakland CA, “there is no there there”, sums up my current experience with the Tao. but just maybe that is the point of the Tao.